Alderman Laurino's Biography

A lifelong resident of the 39th Ward, Margaret Laurino is dedicated to addressing community issues, fighting for capital improvements, and initiating efficient city services in the Ward. Her accomplishments include increased school funding, reduced crime, and infrastructure improvements.

As former Chairman of the City Council Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety and the Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development, Alderman Laurino has earned a reputation as a productive and thoughtful leader. Her key citywide initiatives include:

  • Mandating annual ethics training for all City employees.
  • Regulating restrictive covenants on property once occupied by grocery and drug stores. The law was hailed as the first of its kind and will hasten the return of needed services to a community.
  • Video streaming Chicago City Council meetings.
  • The TIF Sunshine Ordinance that requires the posting of detailed information about each of the City's tax increment finance districts on the City’s website.
  • Creating the Aldermanic intern program, which provides college students with a unique work experience and the opportunity to learn City government operations.
  • Convening the Food Desert Task Force to provide recommendations to alleviate the disparity of grocery store locations in the City.
  • Banning texting while bicycling.
  • Advancing the first Pedestrian Plan, to make the City safer and more accessible.

For her fairness and experience, Margaret’s colleagues chose her to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Chicago City Council. This post allows Alderman Laurino to preside over City Council meetings when the Mayor is absent from the Council Floor.

As an advocate for quality education, Margaret Laurino successfully fought for 39th Ward school improvements, which include new annexes at Volta, Haugan, Sauganash and Palmer Schools; major additions to the Sauganash and Hibbard elementary schools; and construction of the Aspira-Haugan Middle School and the Albany Park Multicultural Academy. The Alderman partnered with the Heartland Alliance, Swedish Covenant Hospital and the Chicago Public Schools to open health centers at the Albany Park Multicultural Academy and Roosevelt High School.

To improve public safety, Alderman Laurino doggedly pursued construction of the $15 million state-of-the-art 17th District Police station located at 4650 North Pulaski.  Opened in 2005, the state replaced a nearly 70-year old outdated building.  The new station features a computerized command center, high-tech roll call rooms, a community room to encourage neighborhood involvement, and a fitness room and updated locker room facilities to meet the needs of the police department’s changing workforce.

39th Ward infrastructure improvements are a Laurino priority. Under her leadership over 300 residential blocks, 100 alleys, and major arterial streets like Peterson, Pulaski, Kedzie, Kimball, Devon, Montrose, and Foster were repaved or resurfaced. She secured $12 million from the Rainblocker pilot program to alleviate basement flooding on the Northwest side.   In Albany Park, the Alderman oversaw $6 million in infrastructure improvements.

Alderman Laurino championed a new library for the Albany Park community that opened in 2014.  Located at Kimball and Foster, the new $15 million Albany Park Library features 55% more space, an outdoor reading garden, and almost 4 times as many free public computers as the existing library. There are new and innovative programs for learners of all ages in the Albany Park library.

Alderman Laurino uses the Small Business Improvement Fund to assist neighborhood businesses throughout the Ward. As a co-founder of the Peterson-Pulaski Business and Industrial Council, the Sauganash Chamber of Commerce, and the Pulaski Elston Business Association, Alderman Marge Laurino is able to help retain and attract jobs to Chicago’s Northwest side.

Alderman Laurino has improved the lives of senior citizens throughout the Ward. She worked with the City's Department of Housing to fund construction of a 97-unit senior building in the Mayfair neighborhood. Laurino also secured funding for home improvement grants for senior citizen homeowners.

North Park Village, the city’s former Tuberculosis sanitarium located at 5801 North Pulaski, is home to over 500 senior citizens, with more housing opening soon. She was instrumental in the renovation of the Village's historic Rock Garden and secured millions of dollars to renovate an outdated building on the grounds that will reopen as a senior wellness center.

Marge Laurino works closely with the Albany Park Community Center, which provides day care, youth counseling, adult literacy programs, and senior programs to over 5,000 people annually. Alderman Laurino and Monsignor Wayne Prist co-founded the Albany Park Food Pantry, a collaboration between Queen of All Saints Parish and the Albany Park Community Center.

In addition to serving as the City Council’s President Pro Tempore, she is a member of the City Council Committees on Budget and Government Operations; Committees, Rules and Ethics; Finance; Workforce Development and Audit; and Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards. Marge also oversees the City Council Legislative Reference Bureau.

Margaret Laurino attended St. Edward’s Elementary School and Alvernia High School in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northeastern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in History. Margaret Laurino resides in the Sauganash community with her husband Randy and their dog Dolly.